Last week Film Critic Amy Nicholson looked into a suspicious death — but there wasn't any single corpse. Instead, she talked to everyone from director Paul Feig to actress Drew Barrymore about the death of an entire genre of film (“Who Killed the Romantic Comedy?”).
Readers had much to say in response. Some, like Sienna Spencer-Markles, were simply grateful for Nicholson's investigation. “Fascinating article,” she writes. “Thank you!”
Others offered their own theories. “It's a combo of crap scripts and the fact that Hollywood refuses to change up their target demographic, even though sales say otherwise,” wookieinthekitchen writes. Compuwiza adds, “Rom-coms became boring after we had seen it all, and some were not believable. After a while, they will be back and won't seem stale anymore if they can avoid ridiculously contrived situations like The Wedding Planner.”
Richardstarr writes, “Stars get you attention. Before the days of Twitter where a movie can be doomed minutes after opening, having big-name stars tended to get you a guaranteed minimum open. Scripts, however, make you the money in the long run. Oddly enough, the script tends to be the place they spend the least money. Start with a good story and provide good dialogue and you are more likely to get a happy audience. A happy audience makes you money.”
We also heard from Robert Payne, who asks politely, “Would I be splitting hairs if I pointed out that 'the biggest romantic comedy of all time,' My Big Fat Greek Wedding, is not, in fact, a romantic comedy? I know that Hollywood pigeonholers like to call it one, but just as Bridesmaids (as your article says) is more about its female leads than its love story, My Big Fat is more about the Nia Vardalos character's relationship with her eccentric family than it is about her relationship with John Corbett. And while I also think that the rom-com could use some rejuvenating, with such recent films as Warm Bodies, Don Jon, Enough Said and About Time, I'm not so sure that the genre is as endangered a species as you report.”
Finally, reader Never Mind simply isn't a fan. “There's some pretty interesting points in this article, which is nicely organized. But it's written so poorly! Additionally, there's no mention of the economy's effect on the rom-com — could that be possible? If so, it would be antithetical to the Great Depression, but still, it's food for thought. What about the rom-com on TV? It's worth a quick comparison or mention. Aim higher, L.A. Weekly.”
Last week's story about an exhibition of black artists headed for the Venice Biennale, “Venezia, Dig This!,” provided the wrong first name for the artist who created “Love Letter #1.” He is Charles White. We regret the error.
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